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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Holds Barred: Nick Caggia, Grappling Champion 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with grappler Nick Caggia.

Standing six-foot, three-inches tall and weighing over 300 pounds, he has become a notable fixture and one of the most recognizable athletes at numerous grappling events across the U.S. He has captured victories and championships in many organizations, including ADCC, NAGA, Grapplers Quest, the Ultimate Grappler Challenge (UGC), and the Professional Grappling League (PGL).

As of now, he has accumulated 36 championship belts.

He also won the absolute division at the 2014 Catch Wrestling World Championship, presented by the Snake Pit U.S.A., on July 27 at the MMA World Expo in New York, defeating four opponents in best two-out-of-three-falls matches without surrendering a fall. In the finals, he faced the tournament's flyweight champion, Phil Caracappa, who weighed just 148 pounds. In an epic and historic battle, and a match of the year candidate, after three periods where no pin or submission had taken place, he finally scored a pin at 4:41 of the overtime period to win the championship.

We spoke with Nick Caggia by phone Tuesday.

"I'm used to actually using my size to my advantage, but I never like to be on my back, of course," he said with a laugh.

"But I always look to take a guy down and submit him."

He also has a busy schedule for the remainder of the year. He will next be competing at the Gym Wars: Elite Grappling event on November 22 in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. Just two weeks later, on December 6, he will be grappling at the UGC: King of the Mat event in Reading, Pennsylvania.

We spoke with him about his background as a high school wrestler in New Jersey, how he made the transition to grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, how he likes to network and meet new people at all these events, balancing his training and competition with his full-time job working in his father's business, his "excellent" experience doing catch wrestling, how he is still improving, his success this "great" year for him with a record of 40-16 thus far, what he needs to work on to improve even further, why he will cut back on competing in tournaments and focus more on training in 2015, his plans to compete in the Newbreed grappling event in Florida in January 2015, and much more.

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